Further evidence for an HLA-related recessive mutation in nasopharyngeal carcinoma among the Chinese

Br J Cancer. 2005 Mar 14;92(5):967-70. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6602347.


We typed 247 cases of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), a disease predominantly of the southern Chinese, and 274 controls from the Chao Shan region of China's Guangdong province for HLA A and B. Besides confirming the established associations with A2, A33, B46 and B58 (positive associations) and A11 (negative association), the results demonstrated a number of rarer alleles with strong negative association with NPC. Our data, combined with those from the previous studies in Southern Chinese, displayed the protective effects for A31 (odds ratio (OR)=0.0; 95% confidence interval (CI)=0-0.11), B13 (OR=0.50; 95% CI=0.35-0.69), B27 (OR=0.49; 95% CI=0.25-0.92), B39 (OR=0.18; 95% CI=0.06-0.48) and B55 (OR=0.32; 95% CI=0.14-0.68), the ORs comparing individuals with or without each allele. Other ethnic groups do not display such large HLA-associated variation in NPC risk. We show that a linked NPC gene with dominant mode of action could not generate such large protective effects. The results provide strong supporting evidence for the existence of a southern Chinese specific, recessive NPC gene closely linked to the HLA region as a major determinant of the Chinese risk for the disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Confidence Intervals
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / isolation & purification
  • DNA Primers
  • Genes, Recessive
  • HLA-A Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-B Antigens / genetics*
  • Histocompatibility Testing
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex / genetics*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Reference Values


  • DNA Primers
  • HLA-A Antigens
  • HLA-B Antigens
  • DNA